Janek Samołyk

Janek Samołyk is a singer-songwriter from Wrocław, Poland. He’s worked as a solo artist since 2008, singing in both English and his native Polish. His compositions tend to be heavily influenced by ’60s-era British folk and pop and modern indie rock. Although a relatively young artist, Samołyk has recorded three full-length albums to date, achieved critical recognition in his native Poland, and even built a fan-base for himself in China—touring there in 2011–2012. His live performances are noted for their tendency to be either more stripped-down, intimate, acoustic affairs, or to be the more bombastic rock arrangements of a full band.

Samołyk’s interest in pursuing a career in music was evident from a rather young age. He helped form the band Sztumbrrr while he was still in high school, and he even won the privilege of performing at the National Song Review in 2002 when he was only 16 years old. Prior to striking out on his own as a solo artist, Samołyk also played guitar, sang, and toured throughout Poland with the rock group Ossis. By 2009 he had released his solo debut EP, Don’t Think Too Much (no Polish title), an effort that generated considerable buzz and helped garner the attention of record executives. In 2009 Samołyk and his band also won the grand prize at the prestigious Off Festival, beating out 230 other performers.

The success of Samołyk’s breakout EP and his Off Festival victory led to a recording contract with the label Polish Radio SA. This relationship resulted in the release of Samołyk’s debut full-length record, Wrocław, in 2010. Since then, two more records have followed on the same label (in 2012 and 2014). He’s also garnered continued festival recognition: the band was a finalist at the Jarocin Festival in 2010, and they won the Mayor of Gdańsk Festival the same year. Although the majority of his touring schedule remains within his native Poland, in recent years he has begun expanding into other markets.

Find Janek Samołyk on Amazon

 

The video for the eponymous single from his third album, The Gift (Na Prezent):

 

Lyrics for “Na Prezent”:

Już nie jest jak dawniej
Jest całkiem inaczej
Może i lepiej
Tekst naszych wspomnień
To drobny maczek
Którego nikt nie przeczytał
I nie przeczyta, nie

Nie jest jak dawniej
Nie jest jak dawniej

Wymyślę coś ładnego
W tych czasach gdy głuchego dosięga nowy przekaz
I napisze coś słodkiego
Powstanie coś z niczego
Na prezent

Już nie jest jak dawniej
Jest całkiem inaczej
Może i lepiej
Tekst naszych wspomnień
To drobny maczek
Którego nikt nie przeczytał
I nie przeczyta, nie

Nie jest jak dawniej
Nie jest jak dawniej

Wymyśle coś ładnego
W tych czasach gdy głuchego dosięga nowy przekaz
I napisze coś słodkiego
Powstanie coś z niczego
Na prezent

 

The video for Samolyk’s first single, “Don’t Think Too Much”:

 

Lyrics for “Don’t Think Too Much”:

Sometimes , when I fail a little bit
I wonder why you’re always here – by my side
when nothing in my life depends on me
and I just can’t get over it, you say to me

Don’t think too much because it makes you sad
just do your best and it will be enough
soon you’ll feel as it sets you free

Have you ever wondered what this life would be
if the bottle you steered wouldnt point at me
when we were, at the age of 12 – the age of 12

When lately I need you to keep me straight
yes you never let me wait, anytime
when nothing, in my life depends on me
I know then who is gonna be, by my side

Don’t think too much because it makes you sad
just do your best and it will be enough
not for them, but for me

 

Find Janek Samołyk on Amazon

Michael Filitis is a recent MA graduate from the University of Chicago where he concentrated on early Soviet nationalities policy, propaganda, and the rise of nationalism in Eastern Europe. A recipient of SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship his current focus is the improvement of his Russian language skills with the goal of pursuing a Phd in Russian history and political science. Outside of academia, he enjoys playing and composing music, eating to excess, movies about space, and contemplating a more active lifestyle.